The accessibility options

To read the text and complete the video tutorials this section should take around 45 minutes. It may be a good idea to have your iPad with you whilst completing this to tutorial. If you can’t, don’t worry it’s not essential.

Understanding the accessibility options in IOS 7

In this module you are going to learn about the accessibility options on the iPad. The subject is massive as Apple have really gone to town on the features, so not everything is covered here, but we have focussed on the most important features for a school, centre or parent.

 In this module you will learn about:

  • Guided Access which means that the you can lock the learner on the app you want them to work or play with.
  • You will learn how to invert the colours on the iPad screen.
  • You will learn how to zoom the screen.
  • Triple click is a great feature which you will learn about.
  • Voice over is great for people with a visual loss, but can also assist those with autism.
  • You will learn about the features of the ‘rotor’ built into iOS
  • You will find out how to handwrite text into the iPad

iPads and vision

The iPad can be a wonderful tool for visual stimulation and assessment. But to begin with, unless you have some understanding of the visual impairment you are dealing with, then it’s very easy to get it all wrong with an iPad.

When you activate ‘guided access’ the child or students cannot exit from the app they are currently working with.  You can also disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction. You can also disable the iPad hardware buttons.

Guided Access IOS 7

(Best viewed full screen) You must have IOS 6 or later on your iPad for these features to work.

1. Go to ‘Settings‘, then go to ‘General
2. Scroll down and tap on ‘Accessibility
3. In ‘Accessibility‘ scroll down and find ‘Guided Access
4. Switch ‘guided access’ to on
5. You will now be asked to set up a four digit pass code – follow the screen instructions to do this
7. You have now set up Guided Access, so you will want to try it out.
8. Click on the Home button to leave the ‘Settings‘ menu and go to an app of your choice then triple click the home button
9. The accessibility options will appear and you need to touch on ‘Guided Access
10. You can turn off the hardware buttons like the home button and the on off button, you can also disabled touch and motion.
11. One of the most useful features is being able to circle areas on the screen that you would like to disable, this could be settings or adverts.
12. When you have the settings you require press start in the top right hand corner
13. To end a Guided Access session triple-click the home button and then enter your pass code.

To invert the colours on the screen Inverting the colours is very simple and in some apps it works very well. It is better suited to text and it can make the screen a little bright.

Inverting colours

1. Go to ‘Settings’, then to ‘General’
2. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on ‘Accessibility’
3. In ‘Accessibility’ scroll down and find ‘Invert Colours’
4. Then simply switch the slide button from off to on and the colours will be inverted
5. Simply switch ‘Inverted Colours’ to off and everything returns to normal

Zooming the screen

To zoom the screen
1. Go to ‘Settings‘, then go to ‘General
2. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on ‘Accessibility
3. Find ‘Zoom’ and switch it on, the screen will automatically enlarge
4. Tap on the screen with three fingers to toggle zoom on and off

When using the native apps on iOS, like Notes this could be a helpful function for those with a visual impairment (or for those of us who are getting a little older). The following video was done for iOS6, but the only change you’ll find is that rather than being called larger text it’s now called larger type in iOS7.

As you start to discover more about the accessibility features on the iPad, you may wish to access them a little more quickly and effectively, so it will be useful at this point to learn about the triple click.

There is a very simple trick for those people wanting to write without using the keyboard. The iPad has the built-in ability for you to talk the text into it. Gone are the days of training Dragon Dictate which used to take ages on the PC. Now it’s really simple on your iPad.

Voice-over

Voice over on the iPad is a big subject, because Apple have put a lot of effort into it. Although it is designed for users with a visual impairment, you may find it very useful for some of our learners with additional needs. I hope it helps that I have broken down VoiceOver into short lessons to help you really understand its functions.

In this section you will also learn about the rotor which as you will see will make access really easy.

Voice-over one – the basics

1. Go to ‘settings’, then go to ‘General’
2. Tap on ‘Accessibility’
3. In ‘accessibility’ find ‘Voice Over’ it’s at the top of the list
4. Turn ‘Voice-Over’ on and your iPad will immediately begin to talk to you
5. To turn voice-over off double tap the voice over switch

Voice-over two – sound effects

Sound effects on the iPad is the clicking noise that you hear when you scroll through icons and text. You can enable or disable sound effects if you are working in a quiet place or if they are really getting on your nerves.

Creating a large cursor

When swiping through text boxes and icons, it can be difficult for some visually impaired users to see where the cursor is. This option enables you to create a much larger cursor, which is easier to see.

Introduction to the ‘Rotor’ and ‘languages’

This could be a particularly useful feature, not just for those who are visually impaired, but for those for whom English is not their first language.

Reading text with the rotor

When using the rotor there are many ways to input and listen to text in a document. You can go one letter at a time, you can get it to speak the phonetic alphabet, or try line at a time, or even a full paragraph or page.

Handwriting text into the iPad

As you have just seen, inputting text into the iPad via the keyboard or voice is really effective. However,  you can also handwrite text on the iPad and it’s not too difficult – as you will see in the following video.

Inputting text continued

So, these are some of the accessibility features in iOS. Most of them work on the iPad, ipod touch and on the iPhone and there is no question that they are very comprehensive. So much so, that I will add a part two for this module where we will cover some of the other features. But in this module you have learned about…

  • Guided Access which means that the you can lock the learner on the app you want them to work or play with.
  • You learned how to invert the colours on the iPad screen.
  • You learned how to zoom the screen.
  • Triple click is a great feature which you will learnt about.
  • Voice over is great for people with a visual loss but can also assist those with autism.
  • You learned about the features of the ‘rotor’ built into iOS
  • You will found out how to handwrite text into the iPad

If you find any faults, or feel that we need additions to this module, please feel free to contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.

Text,  video and images on this webpage are the property of Hirstwood Training Ltd © Hirstwood Training Ltd 2014